zoo day



Yesterday, on a hot New England day, Rich and I drove  the children to the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island.  It took us about an hour and a half to get there, the perfect distance to put my feet up on the dash, read my book, hold hands with Rich, and listen to itunes on the radio.  I did get into trouble once, for nagging Rich about his driving.  But, after he confessed that he began the trip with the intention of driving the best he could and that I made him tense, I shut my mouth and just tried to look (and act) pretty.  

We wanted to visit the zoo for Caleb.  He is six and is very interested in snakes.  He had to write a paper on snakes for first grade, and that is how it all began.  Since then, he’s been checking out every book at the library that he could find on snakes.  He is starting to collect rubber snakes, because we won’t let him get a real one.  One morning he came to me with tears in his eyes and said, “Mom?  I feel so sorry for the milk snake, because people confuse it with the venomous coral snake…….and kill it!” (sob) I found him a “Snake Dictionary” and he knows all about each snake.  There are truly a great many different snakes out there in the big world, and some of them are (dare I say) quite lovely, too.  Caleb’s mind is like a sponge, soaking up all this information….but, he wants to see the real thing.  Books are not enough anymore, and he’s been begging us to take him to the zoo.

We saw the long necked giraffe.

The elephants were getting their bath.

We saw penguins.

And beautiful pink flamingos.

Then….finally…..the snakes.  Two Emerald Tree Boas to be exact.  Perhaps we missed something, but the anticipation of seeing a variety of snakes was great, and to see only one kind was  little teeny bit disappointing.  Good ol’ Caleb seemed to be fine with it, though.  It helped that we bought him a rubber snake at the gift shop.

We only lost track of family members once or twice.  No one cried.  We all enjoyed ourselves, and what’s better to wear on the skin than sticky stuff from little boy hands?  I can’t think of any perfume better than that.  It’s been 12 years since Jacob was Seth’s age and I’m so utterly grateful to have this three year old in my arms, or even, yes, running helter skelter away from me just like his four big brothers have done.  I’m still good at catching them and bringing them back.

Our Davy also loves the different animals and was thrilled to run around, looking at all of them.  He also had a thrill when he turned the crank to stamp an animal on a penny.

So sweet.  It really doesn’t take much to please a child.

We left the zoo, hot and happy.  On the way home we stopped at a chicken place for a late lunch.

Back at home, Caleb worked on his new snake coloring book. 

Rich went straight to the hammock and when he fell asleep, I took Sarah in my arms.

Under the late afternoon son, we went swimming, for me it was the first swim in our newly dug out pond.  I loved it, the children were amazed that I was swimming with them.  So was the cat.


When Rich woke up, he and the boys went to work on the yard.

They discovered turtle eggs in the topsoil that he had brought in from the quarry.

Perfectly round. 

I also made a discovery in my garden.

Green caterpillars all over in my lettuce.

I picked as many as I could off.


And threw them in with the chickens.  They were gone in about 5 seconds.

How do you keep caterpillars off your lettuce?

Happiness is a little bouquet of daisies, picked and brought to you from your own sweet boy.

Happiness is a red swimming suit, with white polka dots, drying on the line.

And, happiness is GETTING YOUR BRACES OFF!


Someone handsome just got handsomer, today!  I love his perfect smile, and Seth has been so funny about Jacob’s new teeth.  He keeps saying, “Let me see your smile, Jake!”  He doesn’t remember a Jacob without braces and he asked where they went.  The orthodontist sent Jacob home with a bag of candy, candy that had previously been off-limits when the braces were on.  And he got to sign his name to the wall in the office.  A very happy day for our Jacob.


0 thoughts on “zoo day

  1. That business about husbands and driving — well, let’s just say that many, many times I just don’t look at the road, don’t look at anything! That’s right, I turn my head like I am looking out of the passenger’s window and close my eyes. Even pray sometimes! But if I am looking, I still sometimes grab the hand thingy up by the roof when I am really, really scared, and unfortunately, that is the same as saying something. I have a wonderful husband, and he does so many things well, but I can’t seem to get him to drive in a way that doesn’t scare me. We women are funny creatures, aren’t we? I think of the miles upon miles that he drives without me and gets places just fine, so I guess he doesn’t really need me to warn him of every threatening danger–but it sure is hard to keep my mouth shut sometimes!

  2. Too bad you can’t bring Caleb to Australia. We could show him eight of the ten most venomous snakes in the entire world at our local animal sanctuary. Cameron loves to visit it. He has gone through a similar fascination with snakes. I also get annoyed with Ross’s driving, except that generally I want him to drive faster and more aggressively. He is more relaxed than I am behind the wheel.

  3. My Dad used to send me to the garden with a bucket containing about an inch of gasoline. I had to knock the potato bugs into the bucket. I guess it would work with caterpillars but then the chickens wouldn’t get a treat! Short of spraying, or manually removing them, I don’t know how to get rid of them. Marigolds? I dunno………. Loved hearing about your little snake lover — such compassion for the poor milk snake!

  4. So Happy to hear that another MOM swims with her children in their pond. I even take the row boat out and we just paddle around for hours. Blessings and thank you for always sharing your special days with us.

  5. What a Fun day. The pictures of the snakes you took are really great. My son has that same snake coloring book. =)Your pond is so neat. I bet all of you are going to have a fabulous time this summer!!!The red polka dot bathing suit…adorable.Worms on lettuce…1. You can get a natural spray.2. You can just pick them off like you did….however, you could miss some, or there could be eggs.3. You can make a soap spray. Soap, olive oil, water. {My neighbor did this last summer….it worked for her}4. My mother in law put a shallow plate of beer on the ground near her plants, and they crawled into it.Enjoy your Day. =)

  6. Sounds like a wonderful day.The new pond looks so inviting and the braceless boy is quite handsome!Too cute that Seth wanted to see his smile repeatedly.

  7. Zoo days are so much fun! I smiled at the loosing family members line:) Sounds familiar. No tears is a good sign!Cute swim suit:) I bet the children will always remember moms red suit with the white polka dots hanging on the line. I love sarahs eyes!! They are so intense and full of life and enthusiasm!

  8. LOVE it ALL! Looks like a great zoo! Love the new pond, I’m just green with envy of all your land, your vegetable garden, new pond, and chickens! I just keep pinching pennies and waiting for our day to come when we can move somewhere more… “us.”I’m glad no one got lost-lost, and no tears is always a plus 🙂 I remember, as a little girl, we vacationed with another family all the time, and the dads took all four kids to the water park in Destin, FL to give the moms a break… and my sister got separated. The dads left my two mates and myself holding hands around a park trashcan while they split up in search of my missing sister. to this day I remember how clever that was to have us stay put “around the trashcan.” lolKeep having fun and sharing the love!

  9. Well done, Jacob ! It’s been so hard, but you made it through it…now you know “freedom” well, and discipline and “doorzettingsvermogen”. Congratulations.Lieve groeten ShandaGodeliva

  10. I liked this post for several reason – One because the idea of water and pond right there so close seems wonderful to us too – I like red swimsuits too, several years ago I picked up one kind of by accident as Robert and I had gone away on a date and suddenly we thought how nice to go for a swim in the river but I didn’t pack a swimwear so off we went to find a place to pick one up real quick and red was the color we found! Ever since then when I see that suit I remember that date. 🙂 I also love animals and so I am reminded that my zoo pass is up for this year and I wonder if my younger ones might like the zoo like my older ones did?? well, of course they would. Sometimes I’m sure you have similar feelings where you feel you have done your family twice over. . .Have a lovely summer and thank you for sharing beauty with others.

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